Toyota Yaris Offers An Exceptional Value For College Students


Toyota Yaris

I wasn’t particularly found of the Echo, Toyota’s earlier entry-level car which predated the current Yaris. Its design made it look like it had been pancaked from the side — the dimensions seemed all wrong in my eyes. Apparently, consumers felt the same way as Toyota pulled the car from the market within a few years time.

Leave it to Toyota that if they don’t get it right the first time they will soon thereafter. The Yaris, Toyota’s current value model, is both an eye-pleaser and a wallet saver — With a sticker price starting at just $11,350 the Yaris is one of best values available today. If you are in the market for a new car, please read on — the Toyota Yaris could turn out to be the right ride for you.

The Yaris is a front-wheel drive, three door hatchback powered by an economical 1.5L I4 engine. It is also available as a four door sedan, but for this article we’ll explore the hatchback which is likely to appeal to college students the most.

What sets the Yaris apart from other cars, particularly Toyota’s other small cars (Corolla and Scion, for example) is the price. Fuel savings-wise you’ll do just about as well with the Corolla, but you’ll also pay about $3000 more for one. Thus, the Yaris is aimed squarely at budget pleasing individuals who need a new ride but aren’t wanting to be strapped with high monthly auto payments.

Paired with a five-speed manual transmission, the Yaris produces 106 h.p. not a lot of horses, but enough for a car of this size. Sitting on a 97 inch wheelbase, the Yaris hatchback seats four adults. The Yaris employs electric steering, a feature that helps save gas, and the suspension uses MacPherson struts in the front, with torsion beam rear suspension with front stabilizer bar. The ride isn’t cozy, but we’re talking entry level economy not Avalon luxury.

The base Yaris isn’t very well equipped, but it does have a few notables included in the price. Intermittent wipers are, of course, standard on any car today, but air-conditioning usually is extra. With the Yaris, you get a/c without having to shell out an extra $900 or so that you would if you chose a comparable Kia or Hyundai model. A covered rear storage deck box and liftback storage are standard, but surprisingly the rear window defroster is only available when purchasing an options package. Any kind of sound system you want is an extra item too. Still, to have included a/c at this price, I’m sure that many people will opt for the sound package of their choice.

The rear seat folds down as needed, stretching 9 cubic feet of cargo room to about 26 feet, a good amount of space when transporting stuff back and forth to college.

By electing various comfort and safety packages as well as opting for an automatic transmission, the Yaris’ final price approaches the base Corolla. Delivering 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, the Yaris’ fuel numbers are average, though the Corolla with a slightly larger 1.8L engine curiously gets 37 mpg. Therefore, if you are looking for a well equipped Yaris, the Corolla might be a better choice. Also, compare the Yaris with the Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa before making your purchase.

One final note: you may be able to shave an additional $500 or so off the price of Yaris depending on what rebates are available in your area. US auto sales are down this year across the board and Toyota is doing its part to give you an additional incentive to buy a Yaris.

Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales, USA.


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Categories: Campus Cars